An Introduction to Vampire Ethics

White Rock Lake

PA reservoir, White Rock Lake covers 1,254 acres and was once used for a portion of Dallas' drinking water supply. Now that it's use as a water source has been supplanted, the area has become one of the favored recreational locations in the city. The forested shoreline is dotted with numerous small cabins, fishing piers, and sailboat docks.

The lake is surrounded by White Rock Lake Park, which is home to the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. Running through the park is a 9 mile trail designed for hiking, running or cycling.

Though swimming was banned here back in the '50's, it is still a popular location for area teens who generally enjoy the more deserted areas, using the beautiful backdrop as a makeout spot.

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About 10 pm near the lake, after the families and beach goers, before the neckers and stoners come out. Possibly the most peaceful team near the lapping waters. Kate's actually found some peace there tonight, her usual blanket set out just near the water, almost to the point of getting wet, but her butt remains on the blanket and dry. Only her feet are extended out, in the lapping, cool water, soothing her metaphorically barking dogs from the long shift she had today. She's in a pair of daisy dukes and an over sized teeshirt, easily gotten out of if she wishes to go for a run, the most relaxing outfit she owns at the moment.
A cigarette flares in the darkness as she breathes in, the only bit of light from her little area. It's orange glow doesn't detract from the stars above, but other things would. So she smokes and she watches, letting some calmness come back to her mind and body. It's truly a thoroughly calming moment. Breath slow and deep, cigarette sweet with hand rolled tobacco.

While literature and tradition holds midnight as 'witching hour', there are other creatures that go bump in the night that don't wait quite that long to stir. Particularly when there is business afoot.
White Rock Lake holds a great deal for the old vampire; a great deal has transpired here since he arrived in the City a scant few months ago. And like for others, it holds a certain allure, even if it is not directly acknowledged.
Marius is quite aware of his surroundings as he moves between the darkness and the light. The lights that dot the trails are some distance off, thus giving something of an eery glow the further away from the source one gets. The sky makes up for it, but not by much due to the random cloud cover.
His pace is slow, his gaze fixed on a small item in hand as he walks. A small part of his face is lit by the device he holds, a cellphone from the looks of it, and slowly, he works the small buttons with consideration. It is still as of yet unfamiliar technology, but he's getting used to it — at least he isn't casting the phone into the lake.
This time.

The moonlight suits Tucker, his pale skin looks almost shiny with the white light reflecting from the surface of the water. He wears a suit, for a change, with a white shirt and the same leather shoes. But he actually made an effort cleaning them since the last time he met Kate.
He felt like a stalker when he saw her coming out here and he could not resist following her. He feels like they have to finish a conversation but he is not even sure which conversation that would be. So he stands there, in safe distance on a small hill, leaning against tree and waits. It has been some minutes now but he did not know how to approach her without freaking her out. 'Maybe there will be a good moment', he thinks, while he is watching the waves on the lake.

Inhale from her lips, pursed around the hand rolled filter, the rolling paper even vanilla flavoured. It's like dessert for Kate, a cigarette she rolled herself on the sweet, stoner intended paper. Hold that breath one…two… three… Exhale slowly through nose and mouth, a mist of that sweet tobacco invading the air between her and the stars before the breeze off the lake takes it. For the moment, neither of the intruders are quiet noticed, the paramedic in her happy place on which no one can intrude…
…Until they do! Whether it's Marius or Tucker that sets off the familiar shiver on the back of her neck, all those whispy little hairs suddenly standing on end, it's not entirely clear. But one moment she was in half heaven, and the neck she's partially sitting up, propped on her elbows, pulse double timing in the quick adrenaline response to the feeling of a predator on the air. Her eyes are wide, still in her human form that's the sense she reaches for first, but they're poor in this light. She catches the flicker of a cellphone's reflection, her eyes tracing it for a moment before she goes to her true sense — smell. She inhales the wind deeply, tasting it.

Rolling the screen down, his movement stops for a brief moment before his fingers begin to move somewhat clumsily across the keypad. Large fingers on a small phone doesn't actually help with accuracy— and couple that with the lack of ability to spell, who knows what will come out on the other side of the Whip's messaging?
Still, it's a victory, of sorts, and once completed, the phone is closed and—
The distinct waft of the emotion rides through the whisps of breeze, drawing Marius' attention up. The heart pounds, the adrenaline rushes through the veins of a prey animal that knows its place and understands. His head turns around to look for the one who has sensed the Hunter, and finding her seated, begins to make his way over.
The other is noticed, though as far as the old vampire is concerned, there is nothing that concerns him there. Yet.

When he sees Kate getting tense, Liam is sure she noticed someone was following her. So he decided to reveal himself to her, he felt creepy enough anyway. No clue that someone else is sneaking around he tries to use his superhuman speed again, like he once did before at the Grisly Bar. He darts forward towards her, trying to make as little noise as possible.
He stops in a safe distance, near enough to talk but far enough to not spook her (in his eyes). Just as he wants to greet Kate he notices someone, or something, else approaching. All his senses switch on by themselves, and his eyes try to fixate the person. Liam tilts his head and steps back instinctively, producing noices that even Kate should notice now if she did not recognize him earlier. He does not hear breathing from anyone but Kate, so he draws his conclusions. He senses that something old is coming and that feeling alone almost brings him down on his knees.
After a few steps Liam halts, waiting to see what the other vampire is going to do.

While Kate would never admit to the fear, yes, it is most certainly there. No animal she's ever inhabited has been a true predator. Tracker, perhaps, but the humans always come with the guns behind her, and she carries no guns tonight. She isn't the hunter. She's the nose, the healer, nothing else. So defenses are flight, not fight, yet she mourns to sacrafice her cool spot by the lake, her already forgotten cigarette, her night off. So, despite fear, she forces herself to stand her ground, try to swallow back her pulse.
She's almost in control of it all before Tucker does his little speedy trick, landing him a few feet off from her in the spilt of a quickened heartbeat, double timing yet again to see him suddenly there. "God!" Kate growls out, jerking back a few feet instinctively. She narrows her eyes in the dim light…"Fuck…'s you. I… I thought someone… else…" Her voice is softer now, trying to calm, a strange concern in her tone. Marius' notice has been replaced with the nearer Tucker. "How…how are you feeling? Are you better?" She asks gently.

Liam's right hand shoots up and he signals Kate with his forefinger in front of his mouth to stay silent while he looks past her, trying to make out the dark figure. When the vampire arrives and starts speaking Tucker needs to restrain from shivering. His face fills with something between reverence and fascination. This was the first vampire he is meeting since he was brought over. He knew that at some point this would have been inevitable, but he did not imagine that it would be someone who made him almost collapse by just standing there, filling his surroundings with his presence. The air feels thick and the whole are seems to sink in silence for Liam. He was not sure if the German accent boosted his fear or his fascination. He just stands there, rooted to the ground, not saying anything.

The exclamations and the surprise can be felt by the elder vampire, the heat of her voice rising. Marius' silent steps take him closer still until he stands just within range of her notice, and his as well.
The shift from absolute fear to fear tinged with careful concern brings his attention around a little more firmly to the other, an obvious vampire. His expression is as cold as stone, his presence silent until he speaks. It's an accented voice, harsh in its German origin. For all the centuries, it still holds firm and true. "Feeling? Better? The physicker heals vampires?"

While Tucker's fast appearance and distraction caught Kate off guard for a few moments and she did miss Marius, it didn't last long. Now the too old vampire grows quite close and her blue eyes sharply flicker back in his direction. All the guards go back up, her expression steel and stone, eyes going to ice. She doesn't back away or quake, though, as Tucker does as the young vampire feels the power impressing down upon him. She keeps her courage up no matter the internal fear. A slight smirk even dances across the fullness of her mouth as he asks that question.
"I help anyone who needs it. I'm a medic, it's my job. My oath." Kate states with a husky, certain pride in her voice. No matter the hate or fear she holds for the creatures, she won't let it make her a monster in turn. "He… injured his hand the other night. I offered to help. He didn't need it, though… It seems you all heal faster than any paramedic could ever treat." Kate admits, and she takes a few steps in Tucker's direction. Protective steps, offering him almost a shield from the sheer power that is Marius. Vampire or not, Tucker still was just another victim.

"Be still, Child."
The words are whispered, barely audible but for a vampire's keener sense. "Who are you?" This one is unknown to him, and unknown isn't a good thing. However, any other questions will remain unasked until such time that they are beyond the prying eyes of a breather. There is nothing that Marius has to say beyond what he has to the young fledgling that can or will be spoken now in the interest of privacy.
Turning to Kate, now, Marius' expression remains completely impasssive. Unreadable. As dark and cold as the grave. "We do." Particularly after we feed. "And you cared for him. She who believes vampires are monsters."
Marius takes a step forward, his manner and mien shifting to something more human, though the darkness of his face holds something of a cruel fascination, "You do not fear him. Why is that?"

As the old vampire addresses him, Liam lowers his head, always a good way of avoiding eye contact. When he is asked for his name he obeys and since he thinks it would be appropriate and maybe even pleasing for the old vampire, he answers in German: "My name is Liam Ulrich Tucker. I just arrived here, in Dallas."
Since no one ever told him how to behave in front of other, especially older, vampires, Liam is very insecure of what he should or could do right now. But some of the vampire ethics just come as they are, he guesses, out of fear your vis-a-vis could shred you into pieces if you do something wrong.
Hoping that will be enough information right now he slightly lifts his head again, looking at Kate, impressed again how she just ignores his fearsome dominance.

Oh, Kate's not really ignoring it. On the surface, yes, she's got her own bit of dominance, her pride, protectiveness, the bits of her which she's kept steel in the face of so much. But beneath the surface, she's terrified, heart galloping, breath threatening to go shallow though she's forcing herself to control it and continue to present that cool front. Showing fear never helped anyone's case. Her brows furrow, however, as the subvocalizing from the older vampire goes missed by her, and the other vampire is speaking a language she doesn't know, even if she recognizes his name. Confusion tints into that concern for Tucker, but she takes one more step towards him, almost directly between him and Marius right now.
Defiant, cool eyes return to the elder vampire, considering his words. "He's just another victim. He didn't asked to be changed… to be like this. So young, having lost… his life? Yes, probably, one day he will be a killer also. Right now, however… He is just as unfortunate as ever other man and woman your kind have killed." She accuses quietly, though she's not daring to actually come any closer to Marius. "And yes, I cared for him… and I'd do it again. Just as I'd care for you, if you were in pain, scared… lost. Dying. Fortunately, he didn't really need my help."

It is most pleasing, or rather, it is as it should be. An acceptable response to the question. His response comes in the same language, but the accent is slightly.. off. The pronunciations aren't quite modern, though he's still undoubtedly understandable. "I will take this as your presentation, Child. I am showing you mercy this once. When you enter a City, you are to make yourself known."
The chastizement thus given, Marius' attention draws back to Kate, and he cants his head. Her heart is still pounding, the blood rushing through her veins. It gives her something of a soft glow, the heat rising to the surface of her skin. "You are wrong, lamb. To be given eternal life is nothing like every man and woman our kind has killed. He has been given grace."
Now, Marius takes a step forward, his lips forming something of a smile. "You would, would you? You would aid me in an hour of need?" He 'tsks' softly, "I do not believe that for a moment."

Liam has the urge to explain everything, tell him that he just had no clue what to do. For god's sake, he did not even know who is maker was, so what did he expect?
But on the other hand starting to babble would only result in flying some houndred yards through the air, so Liam refrained from telling the story of his life, instead just answering, again in German, "Thank you very much. It will not happen again."
As he watches Marius talking to Kate, approaching her, he feels anger rising when Marius talks about giving grace. What the hell? He lied under a house for three days, how is that grace?
Liam relocates his balance uneasily from one leg to another, suppressing to say something very, very stupid, staring to the ground.

If Marius can truly read that deeply beneath Kate's surface, smell fear on her, smell concern, the fact that she is speaking truth should not be so hard to read. There is no alteration of her quick pulse, no guilt in her eyes or her scent. She meets his eyes, open and earnest, even if there is danger in that gesture alone. "If you were truly in danger of dying. Bleeding out, being destroyed, however that might happen, I would intervene. It is not my place to punish murderers. There is a justice system for that. If you kill someone, I will sure as hell make certain the cops have everything they need to track you down, destroy you… but as long as you are in need, hurt… I'm nothing but a medic." It's truth indeed, every word she breathes, even with hate and fear behind them. Maybe there is some strange bit of nobility left in the world these days.
As she speaks, however, she back up a bit closer to Tucker since Marius is coming nearer her. It puts them all in very, very close distance. The fear grows, just a touch, more for Marius' proximity than for any of his words. Liam's quiet statement draws her eyes a moment later. She frowns… "Tell him, Liam… the truth. Tell him what you told me." She does her best to coach the young vampire to stand up for himself. Maybe he can survive with his heart in tact if he grows a backbone.

Marius watches the breather for a long moment; he's gotten the response desired and the promise that the transgression will not occur again. If it does, the Child will be dealt with accordingly. Normally, warnings aren't given so the young one can actually thank the stars that made him that he ran into the Whip, as odd as that may seem.
"I can tell when you lie." Whether or not he believes she tells the truth is a different story. She believes it, certainly. "Be assured that day will never come for you."
With his step forward, Marius can sense the blood rise, her heart beginning its increase as the fear instinct comes in. Protective, too. At her words to the Child, the older vampire allows a mimicry of human expression in his brows rising in askance, his tones deceptively lighter. "Yes, Child. Tell me what you told her. I would know what she knows of you." Just in case he has to fix it.

One thing does Liam know for sure: the best way to survive with a literal heart in this situation was not to expose all secrets and weaknesses. Of course that is the easy thing to do for someone rather than yourself…
When Marius asks him for the truth, Liam presumed that there are more wrong answers to this questions than right. He takes some moments to consider an answer, maye a few seconds too long. What did he even tell her? He clears his throat, and then answers, whispering, with an definite anxious quivering, "I… told her that I was brought over not even a week ago." At least he does not exactly lie. He does not even dare lifting his head, waiting for Marius' reaction. But he makes a mental note to kick Kate's butt if he had the chance.

"Not a week ago, and?" Marius waits for more of the story. There is a reason why the breather said what she did and how. "I can—"
There is a quiet beep that sounds in the elder vampire's pocket, and for a moment, he ignores it, instead holding his attention to the pair. "If I am not told this evening, I will find you again and inquire." The beep sounds again, a chirrup slightly off from the one before it. This one he answers, if only by looking at the screen.
Once the phone is checked, he looks around as to his exact location and with a final, studying look at Liam (Kate is ignored), departs.. and quickly, the speed in which he moves making only a whisper in the night's air.

Just as Liam begins to answer the vampire is gone. He stares at the empty place where the Marius just had been before he vanished into thin air. So he had the mission to find him before sunrise or he would, what, kill him? So that is what you get talking to an old vampire. Just five minutes and your life is at stake. Haha.
As his rigor began to disappear Tucker exhaled, a human gesture he still shows unintentionally from time to time, when he had other things to think of. His eyes meet Kate's, noticing the apologetic glance. He could not say anything just now so he nodded to show appreciation, loosening his stance.

The apology in her eyes is real and, now that Marius is gone, her pulse is beginning to slow just a bit. She still smells like fear, like prey. If he's hungry, she's probably a miserably tempting target. She breathes out slowly, a mirror to his own gesture as she pushes one slightly shaking hand back through her blonde hair and she turns away, putting just a few feet between them of breathing room since she's no longer in a protective position over him.
"I am… sorry, Liam, was it? I did not get your name the other night. But… he needs to know that you weren't taught. You're not being… contrary, you just don't know. You have to protect yourself against him. Somehow…" Kate exhales, worry heavy in her husky voice.

For a moment Tucker recollects pieces of his personality in his mind before he answers. His muscles relax and he looks around carefully, making sure nothing or no one else is watching them.
His voice is still shaky, but it got its tone back. "It's okay, I guess." He bites his lower lip, thinking for a moment. "I need to find him. Who knows what he will do if I do not live up to his expectations?" He sighed, running his right hand through his hair. After another few seconds he asks: "Are you allright?"

The comment about having to find the older vampire makes Kate frown deeply. "You… you might not have to. He simply said he would find you. I suspect you should tell him the whole of the matter, he will find it out one way or another. But… he'd be a fool to kill you immediately. You've presented yourself. Introduced yourself. It's a good step." Kate tries to assure him, but she really doesn't know much about these things so her voice isn't all that confident. She sighs, heading back over to her blanket and just plopping down upon it bonelessly, exhausted now from the adrenaline crash and the weeks just building up.
"Alright? I'm fine. Why wouldn't I be?" She asks in earnest confusion. Other than the panic, she's not shaken in anyway.

Liam shrugs and steps forward, besides Kate, and hunkers down, his right hand playing around with the sand. He looks out to the lake and seems to suck in the calming effect the waves have on him.
"I don't think it would be the best idea to just let him find me. He specifically asked that I tell him this evening." Tucker watches the sand trickle from his hand absentminded. "If I want to avoid being in constant danger I need to contact these vampires here anyway" he adds, apparently more for himself than for Kate. Liam chuckles, "He seemed to like hearing German. That's a bonus."

Kate shifts her body, so her feet settle back into the chilly water, cleaning some of the sand off of them that had stuck there when she got up to speak with the vampires. SHe sighs slowly, really trying to breath out the adrenaline, the last remenants of her racing pulse, just go back to the cool, calm evening she was having, even if that's not totally possible. "Then go, Liam. I do not wish to get you in any further trouble, or bother you night. Every second you wait is a second longer he has to get further away. I wish you luck in it." Kate advises gently, once more her voice entirely honest.

While Liam never had to find a vampire that runs around with inhuman speed before he was good finding people apart from that. So his concern is not necessarily finding him but talking to him again. How would he approach him? What exactly should he tell him, what should stay his secret?
Ignoring her advise for now Liam turns his head to her, trying to smile. Although it more looks like an misguided grin the intention is noticeable. "You should suffer from the hang-over of your life. How are you?" He was not able to ask that before. But now they have some time to finally talk, even if it is just for a few minutes.

Realizing that he's not going anywhere, she won't exactly be able to get back to her relaxing immediately, Kate decides to at least get on the right path. She pulls out those vanilla rolling papers and the sweet Indian tobacco she bought on a reservation a few towns over, beginning to hand roll herself another smoke for the evening. She's careful, delicately piling the tobacco inside the little square of paper and then guiding it into a tiny straw of a cigarette, licking the edge and carefully rolling it over. She's done this often before. It's good for keeping her manual dexterity up also.
"I'm sorry you… are having to suffer that. I really can't give advice about…that stuff. I really don't understand it. I've just seen the after effects. And they generally lead to nothing but more death." Kate confesses, tension still in her voice. His next question makes her smirk. "Me? I'm fine."

Liam watches her rolling the cigarette, carefully scenting the flavours, sorting and recognizing each aroma. This is one of the things he learned to enjoy as a vampire. Everything smelled better, more intense. He could smell certain things even if he is miles away. Of course some smells are not as enjoyable as others but even the bad ones did not feel so disgusting anymore. Well, garlic is aweful but that is just something you have to accept…
"You don't have to give me advice with that things. I am going to get things straight. It's just… hard, without guidance." He stopped playing with the sand, rubbing his hands to remove the remaining grains. //"What are you doing out here in the middle of the night, anyway?"/ he asks eventually.

Kate's slender shoulders roll in a casual shrug. "Just got off work. Needed some time to… to myself. Clear my head. Breathe. You know. I was considering going for a run." She admits, though she chuckles a bit as she finishes rolling her cigarette. For such a prolific smoker, running is probably a good thing to at least keep some stamina up. She gives Liam a half smile, catching sight of his scenting her cigarette.
"You want one?" She offers smoothly. It's the best apology she can really make, trying to make things a bit better for him, offer the peace pipe, so to speak.

Liam holds his hands up in defense. With a look on his face expressing both amusement and distaste he declines the offer: "No, thanks. I couldn't. Never smoked while alive and I think it would kill all my gustative and olfactory nerves at once now. They pretty much explode if a squirrel farts on the other side of the lake."
Somehow Liam thought that running at night after a hard day of work seemed strange, especially for a human, but it was not worth a discussion, either. The woman was strange after all, he already got to know that.

That seems to surprise Kate just a bit, but she accepts it, actually getting the scenting being overwhelming sometimes. Hell, for her, sometimes the smoking was a good way to numb things a touch, mute the half madness that comes with all the scents around, all the temptations. She finishes rolling and slips between her lips, taking up her lighter again to strike up the cherry on the end of the cigarette.
"Fair enough. Thought I'd offer. I… I don't know much of what else I could do for you… I wish i could help more. I'm sorry… Sorry if I caused you any issue."

Liam looks away. Actually he was a bit angry at her but he knew it would not be fair to let that feeling play him. She wants to be helpful and nice, even though she hated vampires. She is just an honest person, Liam could not take that amiss. "I understand." he finally says, after a long pause. His voice went smooth and calm again, it could almost give you a chill, like some vampires' voices do.

That odd, chilling cold calm, silence, it does send a slight shiver up the back of her neck, quickening her pulse again, probably just all too much making her smell like dinner again. Her fear makes things even worse. She clears her throat faintly, "Well…I…I hate to keep you, Liam… there will be other nights. I…" She reaches into her pocket, pulling out a card which she hands to him… "Would you call me, once you speak to him? Let me know you are alright? I'll be worried."

Liam eyes the card. After some switching between looking at Kate and the card he takes it, putting it in his jacket.
He definitely got her message, so he stands up, wiping some grains of sand from his trousers. "Well, it was nice talking to you again. It seems we won't get the chance to just talk sometime." he says jokingly, letting his eyes scan the surroundings again. "I will call you some time." he adds, trying to reassure her. He does not wait for her to answer, he just gives her another keen look, and then does what he seems to enjoy most: Vanishing, leaving a cold breeze of air behind.

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